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  • ja baudin
    started a topic Welding table thickness

    Welding table thickness

    Hey guys, I want to fab a welding table out of aluminum. The top will be 4'x4'. In your opinion, what would be a good thickness. I was thinking between 1/4 and 3/8ths. I don't want it to bend or flex. Thanks for any input, Ja.

  • ja baudin
    replied
    Table is 4x4, casters found at Tractor Supply. Thanks for the explanation Meltedmetal. Ja

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  • Meltedmetal
    replied
    Clint
    I've never had the pleasure of shopping in a Texas hardware store but I would assume they are not so different from hardware stores here. Most any of them should be able to supply you with "countersink bolts" aka "flat head stove bolts" and if you think you need something stronger "flat head Allen Cap screws". The later is available in fine or coarse thread and are much stronger than stove bolts but I don't think a table top will really put much strain on the bolts unless you run into the table with the forklift.
    You can use a drill bit as large or larger than the maximum diameter of the bolt to countersink the heads in but it is advisable to match the taper on the drill bit cutting edge to the taper under the bolt head so the head will seat properly. A drill bit may also be more inclined to chatter but it certainly can be done. The plate thickness at the outer diameter of the head will be close to the total thickness of the plate and in that application it is probably more likely to snap the heads off the bolts than to pull them though the plate.
    I suppose you could also use pan head screws and a flat bottom milling cutter with a guide but the plate in the bottom of the hole would only be what's left after you account for the head thickness.
    Meltedmetal

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  • clint738
    replied
    Also what size (ft x ft) table top did you settle on?

    Can you post a link to where you found your casters at?

    Thanks!

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  • clint738
    replied
    Originally posted by ja baudin View Post
    First I drilled the holes through the mounts and then through the top. Used a countersink bit on the table top followed by using a flat head (countersink) bolt.

    Thanks for the comments, thanks for the advice too Monte.
    So basically you drilled the holes through the mounts and table so the bolt would go through and then using your coutersink bit, you drilled it in just deep enough to get the head of the bolt flush with the table?

    How much table thickness was left after you used the countersink bit?

    Where can I find "flat head" (countersink) bolts?

    Can you post a pic of your countersink bit? Whats the difference in just using a bit the size of the bolt head to get it flush with the table?

    I really like this idea since it allows almost any plate to be made flat. And changing out the plate would never be an issue (no welds to grind).

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  • monte55
    replied
    Cool, that's where it belongs

    Leave a comment:


  • ja baudin
    replied
    Well I decided to clean out my shop and make some room so that I wouldn't have to worry about keeping it out in the weather.
    Attached Files

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  • Steve83
    replied
    ...it's going to sit outside, I don't have a concrete slab outside the shop to keep it on...
    Pavers are cheap, portable, and will keep the wheels (or steel foot pads) from sinking into the mud & rusting. I keep an engine hoist with cast iron wheels outdoors on them, and after 1.5 years, the wheels look cleaner than than when I moved it out there.

    Leave a comment:


  • ja baudin
    replied
    First I drilled the holes through the mounts and then through the top. Used a countersink bit on the table top followed by using a flat head (countersink) bolt.

    Thanks for the comments, thanks for the advice too Monte.
    Last edited by ja baudin; 01-28-2013, 03:01 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • clint738
    replied
    Originally posted by ja baudin View Post
    Well, first off I'd like to thank everyone for their advise. I spent much time thinking about what everyone had to say and I did many searches on the subject. I decided that an all steel table would be the best long term solution for my application. Might as well do it right the first time. Frame is 3x3x1/8th, top is 3/8th's. Got over the problem of moving it in and out the building by putting 9" casters on the bottom. It roles in and out easy regardless or the weight (doesn't even look funny). Plate top was cupped when I purchased it, so I placed it cup up. Once I bolted the plate down to the frame, Flat as glass..Hope yall enjoy the pics, I'm posting this before I painted it.

    Ja
    Very neat table design. Can show how the bolts are secured to the table top? Did you drill a recessed hole for the head and then drill a smaller diameter hole all the way through for the bolt threads? Just wondering how you have the bolts below the table top surface.

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • monte55
    replied
    Your table looks good. nice job. A couple of suggestions. On my table I cut 4" long tubes out of about 1.5" tubing and welded them under the table at an angle for a place to hold my mig gun. I have 6 locations on my table. Also at each end I have a rail in a wide u |_______| welded under the top to hold clamps etc. 3/8 round would be fine. Everything within reach. With the steel table now you can use the magnetic squares, holders, and torpedo magnetic levels will always be near.

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  • HFD1 Motorsports
    replied
    Nice table you could park a tank on it....

    Leave a comment:


  • ja baudin
    replied
    Well, first off I'd like to thank everyone for their advice. I spent much time thinking about what everyone had to say and I did many searches on the subject. I decided that an all steel table would be the best long term solution for my application. Might as well do it right the first time. Frame is 3x3x1/8th, top is 3/8th's. Got over the problem of moving it in and out the building by putting 9" casters on the bottom. It roles in and out easy regardless of the weight (doesn't even look funny). Plate top was cupped when I purchased it, so I placed it cup up. Once I bolted the plate down to the frame, Flat as glass..Hope yall enjoy the pics, I'm posting this before I painted it.

    Ja
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ja baudin; 01-28-2013, 03:01 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • zachary kling
    replied
    Similar to the marketing triangle of "good fast cheap, pick two" I like to refer to a fabrication triangle "light, sturdy, cheap; pick two" Meaning if it is to be light and sturdy it ain't necessarily going to be cheap. If it is to be sturdy and cheap it is most probably not going to be light.

    Without seeing your shop setup, mostly doors. The reality of transporting a 4'x4' table of any material is going to be a pain in the but unless it is from a concrete drive way to a concrete garage and the table is on wheels. From your posts it sounds you will be transporting this to a non concrete area outside that is not on the same level. Door opening width?

    If you don't want rust on your table legs, there is this product called....PAINT. Although it does add color to an item its primary purpose it to prevent corrosion (rust). I would highly recommend it, it seems to be catching on these days.

    Filling the legs with sand is going to do NOTHING to increase their column strength. Only their weight. But then again you want to be able to move this easily? Additionally the sand will hold moisture and cause the legs to corrode from the inside

    I think your best bet would be to make a top section that consists of a properly braced thin steel plate and 5 (one on each corner and one in the middle) 4"x4" posts that fit into square slots. This way you could store it up against the wall and when needed insert the 4x4's and set it up.

    I agree with Fusion King, your tools list is extremely......impressive?

    My favorite welding table is an old cast iron table saw. It is extremely sturdy, very flat and spatter does not stick to it. With its cabinet design the top overhangs in every direction which makes it great for clamping. Unfortunately you can't do much hammering on it, but there is always the steel table for that. Additionally I got the entire thing for $20. Can't even buy the steel top for a standard welding table for that.

    Best of luck with your ultimate table.

    Leave a comment:


  • fieroboom
    replied
    Ja, I've been there & done that... I know exactly where you're coming from. Making a 1940's tight-squeeze single car garage your "shop" is no easy task! If I were you, I believe I'd find a way to just put a thick aluminum plate on top of your railroad-tie table, maybe a few pieces of 3-4" c-channel under it to insulate it from the wood top... You could make some pockets to store the c-channel under the table like ramp holders on a trailer. Then you could maybe clamp the whole assembly to the table, or have some bolts you drop through to hold everything in place if it wasn't stable enough already.

    Point is, it doesn't sound like you're gonna be doing a whole lot of heavy-duty fit-ups with enormous heat, and since aluminum dissipates heat so well, I think a setup like that would suit you fine. When it comes down to it, pretty much any conductive metal can be used as a welding surface, so do what fits your budget, back muscles, and space.

    Oh, and as far as the child's safety table is concerned, I've used one of those to weld on before; it served me very well for small hobbies.

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